* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

User left unable to type passwords after 'tropical island stress therapy'

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: One week at Bigger Blue.

"There are some shops that require support staff to be in trousers/shirt/tie/nice shoes because it is what looks professional."

I had a short gig setting up a system at my client's customer's site. Client insisted on my wearing a suit to promote their professional image. This was in the middle of that English rarity, a heat wave. The customer had a more relaxed approach to their head office staff. There's something a little bizarre about wearing an increasingly crumpled suit in a meeting with the customer manager in T-shirt, shorts & sandals.

Kerberos bypass, login theft bug slain by Microsoft, Linux slingers

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Re: Open Source is necessary, but not sufficient

Sorry, access to the code is a necessary condition. No need for the "access" to be open to everybody

It's a statistical thing. The more eyeballs that can access it the greater probability that the right pair (or single eyeball, let's not be binocularist about this) will come along.

Electric driverless cars could make petrol and diesel motors 'socially unacceptable'

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"Things like [Crossrail] start to make sense: 160m long trains, 30 trains per hour each carrying 1,500 people."

Fine if you want to travel from somewhere near a station on thing like Crossrail to somewhere near another station on same thing like Crossrail. If you want to travel to somewhere on another line sharing a station with the first line it gets less convenient. By the time you've made a couple of changes of line it gets distinctly unpleasant.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "Electric vehicles are the obvious solution to that particular problem"

"Second flaw in argument: where is the space where all these night - time charging stations can be installed?"

Your vehicle is currently being charged in Didcot. It will be returned in 3 hours time and will have 3 miles usable range left after it has driven itself back to your address in East London.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "Electric vehicles are the obvious solution to that particular problem"

"Let not even mention the power stations needed to generate all this extra electricity."

More pixie dust Unicorns on treadmills.

Why is it that when I read articles about how wonderful the future will be with all-electric/autonomous/both cars I start feeling as if I'm Dilbert having the PHB expounding the company's latest idea?

Bupa: Rogue staffer stole health insurance holders' personal deets

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"Data breaches provide a distribution hub for malware for years to come."

Quick, at least partial solution to that: change email address. It then requires another leak somewhere to get the new one. And far easier if the original was bupa@mydomain - just change it to oops@mydomain.

Brickbat unwraps in lap of crap Snapchat yap app technocrat brats after stock splat mishap

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"I bet you can't say the title of the article 10 times really fast without making a mistake!"

the title of the article 10 times

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Short headline

Lawyer* persuades shareholders to sue shareholders.

*There's always one at the bottom of things like this. Shareholders are suing a corporation. Who are the corporation? The shareholders. Who gets the fees?

Wi-Fi firm Purple sneaks 'community service' clause into its T&Cs

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"We have acted quickly to be the first Wi-Fi provider to be fully GDPR compliant."

Ever heard of hubris?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Nothing new here.

"you will be compliant"

Providing your business is resident in a jurisdiction where it's allowed to be compliant.

PC sales still slumping, but more slowly than feared

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"Both analyst firms suggest that rising component prices have led to rising PC prices which has led to falling enthusiasm from buyers, especially consumers. DRAM, LCD panels and solid state disks prices all share some of the blame for the rise, as all are in short supply."

Maybe both firms replace all their staffs' PCs every year and suppose the rest of the world tries to do the same (the "my use case is universal" fallacy).

NAO: Customs union IT system may not be ready before Brexit

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Re: dichotomy and delay

"it wasnt such a difficult thing if they would just accept it and commit."

They are committed. May's objective from the start has been to get out of the ECJ's jurisdiction and this is how it's done.

"It is almost like their desire to remain is so strong they would burn the country than free it."

A neat inversion of the truth. The Leavers' desire to leave was such that they would rather burn the country than stay. Thanks for showing us that when it all goes wrong we're going to see the "no true Scotsman" explanation.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: dichotomy and delay

"Right, about as difficult as cancelling a magazine subscription."

Get real. Nothing's as difficult as that.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Not to worry. Brexit probably won't be ready by Brexit either.

"wonder if the government actually wants to piss off the whole of Europe"

They want to ingratiate them with those voters who voted leave and who do want to piss off the whole of Europe. Neither government nor voters have thought through the likely consequences (see article for an example). The government also hasn't realised that those who voted that way were never going to vote for them as a party and that a good many of those who previously did but also voted remain are now not going to vote for them as a party (see the recent election results).

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Not to worry. Brexit probably won't be ready by Brexit either.

"Time will tell how accurate a description of the new software this turns out to be."

Quite so but I reckon it's a pretty good description of what it needs to be.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Wishful Oxford PPE & Classics + Crapita thinking

Nope we'll be "wrecking"

Join the queue. There's quite a bit of that going on already. The ship hasn't hot the rocks yet so nobody's really noticed.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Wishful Oxford PPE & Classics + Crapita thinking

"They never finish.

They never work."

Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Usually it's only the latter that make reported headlines.

OTOH I agree this particular one has more than a whiff of wishful thinking about it. In fact, it's the sort of thing that should have been taken into account when Article 50 was drawn up but presumably nobody expected it to be actually used.

Flight Centre leaks fliers' passport details to 'potential suppliers'

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“I don't really want to get into ongoing Q&A.”

Translation: We really don't want to tell you how bad it is. or No, I don't know any more 'cause nobody tells me any more either.

€100 'typewriter' turns out to be €45,000 Enigma machine

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Re: I dream of this...

"Problem is, people have the internet these days"

Don't be too sure. A little while ago Bargain Hunt picked up a silver item inscribed as a gift to William Crookes. Nobody seemed to have picked up on the fact that that was a rather significant name - where would all those telly people be without Sir William Crookes' discovery of cathode rays?

Was the dedicatee really that Sir William? A quick look at wonkypedia would have confirmed the date. A little further research would have revealed that the donors names and initials corresponded with another FRS, Augustus Desiré Waller and Alice Mary Waller, both physiologists at a time when women in science were still rare. I'd have loved to have been at the auction when that came up.

Blue Cross? Blue crass: Health insurer thought it would be a great idea to mail plans on USB sticks

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" I'm sure it started as something innocent: a marketing ploy"

Innocent and marketing in the same sentence?

AI vans are real – but they'll make us suck at driving, warn boffins

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"Now it's just a bottom-rung handler"

I suppose it'll make a nice change for them, getting out and about instead of staying in the depot throwing the fragile parcels backwards & forwards.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: The future:

"they can all be sent off to park out of sight when not in use so streets become open, friendly places again."

Sent where? At the side of the open, friendly streets?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: road signs and traffic signals

"sleeping off their hangover on the way to work down the M1"

I've had too many jouneys on the M1 where a wake-me-up-when-the-traffic-moves device would have been quite useful.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Automate the signals

"And why do the lights at some junctions have the green light cased in a box so it is almost impossible to see?"

And why does everyone agree that the traffic flows better - for all routes - when our local traffic lights are out of order?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: The future:

"There's no such need, how many hours per week do you really use it?"

Not many but if you use it to commute you need it about the same time as everyone else needs theirs. Now go back and do your maths calculating how many cars would be needed to meet your 3 minute criterion at peak times, how much of the day they'd spend idle and what the consequent per mile cost would be.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "Neither, we were told, does it read road signs"

"the guy down the hole who suddenly experiences the pleasure of an AI van landing on his head"

Back in the '50s my cousin was driving in a thick fog when she suffered a severe jolt. She stopped to look and found she'd crossed an unmarked narrow trench in the road. Then a head popped up...

It might be coincidence that a few days later a track rod failed.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Obvious study is obvious

"I'm sure tractor drivers have lost the key skills needed for riding a horse too."

The tractor driver doesn't find him or herself suddenly in control of a horse with about a second to react to avoid an accident. A human driver could find themselves in the equivalent situation unless the autonomous car is so good that this is never ever needed.

By the way I referred to the tractor driver as him or her because my neighbouring farming couple both drive tractors as required and she also rides a horse (no, not at the same time) so your certainty is a little over-rated.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Complete or not at all...

humans are poor drivers and don't drive "properly"

Order of magnitude calculation. There are about 3,000 road fatalities per year in the UK. There are, I think, about 30,000,000 vehicles. That comes down to 1 fatality per 10,000 vehicle years. Multiply the number of vehicle years by the annual average mileage to get the rate in terms of miles. Apparently the average for cars is 7,900, vans over 12,000 and presumably HGVs higher still. Let's say 10,000 for an order of magnitude estimate, so one fatality per 100,000,000 miles.

At what date do the autonomous vehicle manufacturers reckon on being able to beat that?

Dial S for SQLi: Now skiddies can order web attacks via text message

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"... highlighting the importance of regular infrastructure security audits," Recorded Future concludes.

Is Recorded Future in the business of providing regular infrastructure audits, I wonder.

I'd have thought a simpler approach would be to make the site secure in the first place and then leave well alone but I suppose site owners just can't resist tinkering and installing the latest sieve plugin to whatever framework they run.

WannaCry prompts promise of extra cash towards NHS security

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"Local organisations should be aiming to have isolated, moved away from or be actively managing any unsupported systems by April 2018,"

That phraseology struck me as being the wrong way to say the right thing. We all know stuff can't always be done instantly but "by April 2018" gives too much wriggle room for managers to assign lower priorities in favour of - well whatever takes their fancy. "As soon as possible and certainly no later than April 2018" would have been far better. "As a top priority" would have been better still.

Uncle Sam says 'nyet' to Kaspersky amid fresh claims of Russian ties

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Re: Only in Russia

"foreign governments might have to ban Microsoft/Google/Intel/etc"

I suspect it's in response to Russia insisting on foreign companies locating their servers in Russia if Russian serfs citizens are to use them.

Given that the US legal system is also working very hard to ensure that other countries follow Russia's example it looks as if the US govt. is going to end up banning a lot of products from around the world.

Did anyone say "trade war"?

NASA flies plane through Earthly shadow of Kuiper Belt object

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Re: I'm lost

"in front of a star" would probably have been clearer.

It certainly would. What's el Reg coming to?

Astroboffins spot tiniest star yet – we guess you could call it... small fry

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"I thought that red dwarfs were not optimal, because their goldilocks zones are so close as to force tidal locking for any earth-like planets, thus rendering them non-earth-like."

I suppose it depends on what they mean by Earth-like. It might simply be Earth-sized and rocky irrespective of habitability.

Russia, China vow to kill off VPNs, Tor browser

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"A bit like a Conservative 1922 backbench committee"

I think Conservative frontbenchers sometimes count the 1922 committee as terrorists. They don't have to spy on them, however; they'll find out what the committee's thinking pretty quickly.

Ransomware-slinging support scammers hire local cash mule in Oz

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Re: Fraudulently set up a company

"The way I see it the only reason you'd have more than one is so that you get more chances to go bankrupt, leaving honest suppliers / customers in debt."

OK, let's try and think of a few reasons.

1. You have business A, say a shop. You have some spare money and decide to start up a second line of business B, say student flats. Both are going well but you decide that in future you just want to concentrate on B. If you have them in the same company then all you can do is close the shop, sell the stock and give up the lease (or sell the property if you actually own it but I think rental is more common). That doesn't really give you the value that the shop has as a popular local business. If A and B are separate companies then you sell company A as a going concern which rewards you for the effort you put into building it up.

2. You have a simple but successful small business, A. You then decide to branch out into something which has a much more complicated regulatory regime, B. Do you really want to impose the regulatory regime of B on A? You might unless they're separate companies.

Ubuntu Linux now on Windows Store (for Insiders)

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"are there actually any Linux users using Windows 10?"

And are there any using Linux under Windows 10?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Fast Startup, corrupt NTFS.

"Have Microsoft have finally turned off Fast Startup, if you install Ubuntu? One of the problems with Microsoft Windows 10's hibernated fast startup mode, is the NTFS File System is unreadable by another OS"

This isn't a regular install of Ubuntu. This is the Ubuntu userland running under Windows with, as per other comments, a sort of Wine in reverse intercepting system calls and using Windows instead of the Linux kernel perform them. So Windows wouldn't be hibernating whilst running Ubuntu in this way.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: new fangled Windows Subsystem for Linux

Mage, you've been reading too many of Bob's posts.

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How else would they be able to slurp Linux users?

Mappy days! Ordnance Survey offers up free map of UK greenery

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"Such as? The only thing I can think of that isn't in the list and that makes sense for the purpose is a beach."

Farmland, woodland (except amenity woodland) and moorland.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"The mapping agency's latest offering pulls together geospatial data to create a map of concrete-free areas across the country – everything from your local park to an allotment."

That's a small proportion of concrete-free areas:

- Public parks or gardens

- Play spaces

- Golf courses

- Sports areas or playing fields

- Churchyards or burial grounds

- Allotments or community growing spaces

Almost everything I can see from my window is concrete free and none any of it falls into any of these categories.

Dental app startup drama: Two attack websites and a lawsuit

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"Never rely on verbal contracts."

Or an oral agreement. Amalgamate the business properly.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

at the High Court

The Crown Court would have been more appropriate.

But thank you, Reg, for filling in the details.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Such charming people

They should have taken better caries in choosing their business partners.

Brit SAP user group seeking more line-of-business members

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They can go and put a [project] together and roll it out almost without the IT department's involvement and from next year earn their employers big fines under GDPR.

G20 calls for 'lawful and non-arbitrary access to available information' to fight terror

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"But the remaining very hard part is the infrastructure that goes around it. Particularly ease of use, key management, and avoiding leaking metadata. PGP-encrypted email, for example, makes no attempt to hide the source and destination, the length of the email and most implementations don't even drop all the optional clear-text headers (such as Subject)."

That was my point about it not being part of the protocols.

Take, for instance, key management and email. There's nothing in SMTP that provides for it If a hypothetical ESMTP were to replace SMTP and specified a requirement for hosting the public key (e.g. on the server pointed to by the MX record) and the mechanisms for setting and retrieving it then existing email software would be extended to provide that ease of use.

In the absence of anything to mandate the infrastructure encryption will remain an awkward add-on at best to popular email clients and mostly unused because nobody knows anyone who uses it because nobody knows anybody who uses it.

Trump to world: Forget moving to America to do a startup

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Re: Chinese entrepeneures....so his buddy Putin can rule the world

"more of it goes on arms spending. I really think that ruling the world is rather low on Putin's agenda."

I though spending more on arms and wanting to rule the world were usually closely associated.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Close the door and turn of the light

Control of the press Twitter account is most important

Former GCHQ boss backs end-to-end encryption

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"they can use it to dissuade law-abiding people from using encryption"

Not when the law-abiding people realise that this is their banking apps and online trading accounts that are affected. Nor the businesses that use VPNs to enable secure access to the office network for out-of-office workers.

Everyday business over the internet runs on encryption. Can you imagine the shit-storm that will break when it's discovered that the local dog-warden has access to his neighbours' bank accounts and that the govt has legislated to make that possible?

The AA's copped to credit data blurt, but what about car-crash incident response?

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Re: Electoral register

"The electoral register contains just as much personally identifiable data as this leak"

The electoral register contains partial credit card information and a list of what you've bought from the AA? I never knew that.

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